Intraneuronal β-amyloid accumulation and synapse pathology in Alzheimer’s disease
The aberrant accumulation of aggregated β-amyloid peptides (Aβ) as plaques is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) neuropathology and reduction of Aβ has become a leading direction of emerging experimental therapies for the disease. The mechanism(s) whereby Aβ is involved in the pathophysiology of the disease remain(s) poorly understood. Initially fibrils, and subsequently oligomers of extracellular Aβ have been viewed as the most important pathogenic form of Aβ in AD. More recently, the intraneuronal accumulation of Aβ has been described in the brain, although technical considerations and its relevance in AD have made this a controversial topic. Here, we review the emerging evidence linking intraneuronal Aβ accumulation to the development of synaptic pathology and plaques in AD, and discuss the implications of intraneuronal β-amyloid for AD pathology, biology, diagnosis and therapy.